After a work-related injury occurs, there are several things that will take place aside from reporting the accident to your employer. You will need to see a doctor to verify that your injuries were a direct result of your accident. Once that has been verified and the report is turned into the insurance company, arbitration may be offered.
What Is Arbitration?
According to the definition provided by Law.com, an arbitration is “a mini-trial, which may be for a lawsuit ready to go to trial, held in an attempt to avoid a court trial and conducted by a person or a panel of people who are not judges. The arbitration may be agreed to by the parties, may be required by a provision in a contract for settling disputes, or may be provided for under statute. To avoid clogged court calendars the parties often agree to have the matter determined by a panel such as one provided by the American Arbitration Association (which has a specific set of rules), a retired judge, some other respected lawyer, or some organization that provides these services. Usually contract-required arbitration may be converted into a legal judgment on petition to the court, unless some party has protested that there has been a gross injustice, collusion or fraud. Many states provide for mandatory arbitration of cases on a non-binding basis in the hope that these "mini-trials" (proceedings) conducted by experienced attorneys will give the parties a clearer picture of the probable result and lead to acceptance of the arbitrator's decision.”
Can I Appeal?
Your ability to file an appeal will be determined by whether or not binding arbitration is used. During binding arbitration, the panel's decision is the last word. If your case is handled through regular arbitration, you have the right to appeal your case and take your case to court. Having an attorney by your side to represent you and defend your workers’ compensation claim will give you the credibility.
What Does a Loss at Arbitration Mean for You?
There are two types of arbitration: binding and non-binding. In a binding arbitration case, the judge's decision is final and no appeal can be processed. In a non-binding arbitration case, you can appeal the decision and take it to the next level. This will vary from state to state, depending on what type of appellate system is used.
How Can a Loss During Arbitration Affect Each Party?
Arbitration affects each party differently. In a binding case, the loss can make it difficult for the losing party to recover damages. In a non-binding case, both parties must wait until the appellate process is complete. The losing party in a non-binding case that has gone on to the appellate process will have to abide by the appellate body's final decision.
Does Arbitration Mean Settlement?
Arbitration does not always mean settlement. Arbitration is a means of settling a conflict between two parties, in this case, an employee and an employer. By using an arbitrator, both sides agree to present their case during a hearing and allow the arbitrator to come to a final decision. It is up to both parties to present their cases in such a way that the judge gets an accurate depiction of what actually happened and who is at fault.
What Happens During Arbitration?
During the arbitration hearing, both sides work together to choose an arbitrator who will act as a presiding judge over the case. The arbitrator will hear both sides of the case during opening statements. Each side will present their case stating all of their facts and provide evidence if available. Closing statements will then be made and the arbitrator will make a decision. The arbitrator may take up to 7 to 10 days to make a decision, following which the case will be closed.
Gaylord & Nantais are workers’ compensation attorneys who specialize in both regular and binding arbitration. If you have received a work-related injury and want to hire the best worker's compensation attorney possible, call their office and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Deadlines must be met if you expect to win your case.
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